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Old 02-12-2011, 03:45 AM   #1
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Many indie coffee cafes now restrict, or ban outright, the use of e-reading devices

Crazy! But a nice piece of writing and a nicely expressed editorial.



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Many indie New York City cafes now heavily restrict, or ban outright, the use of Kindles, Nooks and iPads. Evidently, too many coffee shops in town have had their ambience wrecked when itinerant word processors with laptops turn the tables into office space. Sure, that phenomenon can be depressing — whether you’re a scornful lady who lunches or the nomadic freelancer who fields glares. And full-dress computers are perhaps too much personal furniture for cafes to accommodate. But banning devices the size of books, like Kindles and iPads, is going too far, and it’s anathema to the character and history of cafes.

Unwholesome things have always happened wherever people drink coffee together. They gossip and complain about powerful jerks; they read, write and scheme about their own comebacks. On the sidelines of those conversations — muttering, silently judging, chiming in — have always been loners who loiter with books and newspapers all day, ready to be recruited into conversation. This might come as hard news to would-be restaurateurs looking only to taste that sweet margin of coffee markup, but loiterers and readers must be part of the cafe equation. People who sit at bars are going to make out and brawl; people who sit in cafes are going to read and talk.

>SNIP!<

As for the fancy tech-unfriendly cafes that shut out writers and readers like infidels in Ottoman times, maybe they should just style themselves as restaurants, with tablecloths, silverware and full service. If you have to bus your own table, history teaches, you’re in a cafe — and you can read and write what you want.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/ma...er=rss&emc=rss
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:46 AM   #2
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Maybe if some of these coffee shops didn't charge so much for a cup of coffee, people wouldn't have to sit there for hours on end just to get their money's worth (and I say that as someone who takes his coffee a little more seriously than the average person does).

But, if a paperback is okay, then an e-book reading device is okay, too.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:04 AM   #3
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I'm glad I:

A.) Don't drink coffee

B.) Hate the coffee shop atmosphere, it's like hanging out in a Mac Store.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:50 AM   #4
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Hate the coffee shop atmosphere, it's like hanging out in a Mac Store.
WOW!

What does that mean?
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:59 AM   #5
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WOW!

What does that mean?
Probably something quite derogatory.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:08 AM   #6
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Probably something quite derogatory.
Yeah, I get that. I've spent time in both places, and I never seen any similarities between the two.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:15 AM   #7
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FYI, this isn't exactly "news" (tho' the article is new).

WSJ -- Laptop ban, 8/2009 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124950421033208823.html
NYT -- ebook readers http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/0...establishment/

Anyway.....

Though I am a techie and far from nostalgic, I am put off a bit that the patrons at my local cafe are staring intently at laptops, rather than reading or chatting with one another.

But, I don't support bans. If you don't want laptops, don't offer free wi-fi or outlets. Or tables perhaps.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:48 AM   #8
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Luddites. As long as I'm reading and not working, playing games, or watching movies, how am I ruining the cafe shop experience?
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
Probably something quite derogatory.
Maybe it simply means there are a lot of macbooks and ipads at both places?

Personally, as long as these places indicate their policy clearly then that it fine with me, it just means that I know to go somewhere else to read my book and buy a coffee.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jhempel24 View Post
I'm glad I:

A.) Don't drink coffee

B.) Hate the coffee shop atmosphere, it's like hanging out in a Mac Store.
How would you know to "hate" coffee shops if you don't drink coffee?

weird...
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:00 AM   #11
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The problem really comes down to the lack of tables being turned, it's unprofitable and people walking past will see the place is already 'quite full' and walk on to the next location.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:05 AM   #12
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I don't drink coffee, but I play one on TV ... wait, wrong quote. I was going to say, I don't drink coffee at all, but ALL my friends do. Every single one of them, so I've seen the inside of just about every coffee shop and cafe in Alaska. Luckily the eReader-bias hasn't seemed to have migrated here yet. It always takes years for us to adopt the habits of you southern folk anyway.

Oh, and for the person who said cafes are like a Mac store, goodness, I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel like the only light in these shops is the soft ambient glow coming from the dozen or so Apple logos on the back of laptops.

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Old 02-12-2011, 08:08 AM   #13
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Maybe it simply means there are a lot of macbooks and ipads at both places?
Oh, he must dislike colleges and a lot of other places too.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:11 AM   #14
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Oh, he must dislike colleges and a lot of other places too.
Colleges have other reasons not to like them, the whole being filled with students thing for one.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:12 AM   #15
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Perhaps its a gross misunderstanding of technology. I have a Jetbook and have had people ask me "is that one of those Ipad thingys?".

So its quite possible in some situations you may find coffee shop owners confused,stubborn, suffer from Neo-Luddism, or all of the above.

I'll go out on a limb and theorize that demographically the average age of the owners who ban readers is above 50.

Doesn't really matter anyhow there are plenty of shops in urban areas who do allow e-readers.
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